From Turrialba to Texas: Wearsos Exhibit at Luck Reunion

From Turrialba to Texas: Wearsos Exhibit at Luck Reunion

How It All Started: 

On January 5, 2024, Wearsos received a very exciting email – our team was getting invited to Luck Reunion, an exclusive annual music festival on Willie Nelson's Ranch in Spicewood, Texas. Each year, Southwest Airlines® chooses a partner from their Repurpose with Purpose Program to exhibit at their activation space at the festival. As a small social enterprise based out of the rural community of Turrialba, Costa Rica, the invitation to such a prestigious festival was an incredible honor.

Wheels immediately started turning as our team developed a plan for products that we could share with the world. Cowboy hat straps, leather patches, painted luggage tags… we were all thinking about what leather products festival-goers would like to see at Willie Nelson's music festival. The event was on March 14, 2024, so we had just over 2 months to develop, produce, sew, and ship our products for the event.

First Ever Flight:

Two of our artisans, Karo and Carolina, were invited to join the event, which was incredibly exciting because it would be both of their first-ever times in the USA. For Carolina, this was her first passport, her first visa, her first time out of Costa Rica, and her first time on a plane… so many firsts. The days leading up to the event, she shared how nervous she was and talked about the “mariposas” or “butterflies” in her stomach.

You can learn more about Karo and Carolina on our Meet The Team Page

However, upon reaching the airport, the nerves dissipated as Southwest Airlines treated us like true VIP guests. When we first arrived, there was a “Welcome Wearsos” sign on the TV above the check-in booth. That sign was only the beginning of the incredible treatment we would receive throughout our travel day. We were welcomed to board the plane first, where we quickly noticed that they had lined the ramp with balloons. Once we reached the plane, the Southwest staff pulled out a giant photo booth frame decorated with sparkles, photos, and our logo. Karo and Carolina had their photos taken with the airport staff in the frame. After that, we were even allowed to check out the cockpit!

Once we were finally seated in our seats (which were a remarkably similar color to the bags we were holding… I wonder why), we thought that surely that was the end of the excitement. But there was yet another surprise, and before the plane took off, the Southwest Airlines staff made an official announcement welcoming our team onboard. Karo and Carolina were given “first-time flier” crowns and pins, which they proudly wore even after the plane had landed. 

Southwest Airlines truly outdid themselves. Our team never could have imagined a warmer welcome.

Creating The Space

The morning after arriving in Texas, we immediately headed to Willie Nelson's Ranch. We were amazed to see that the Southwest Building was already decorated with wooden tables, crates, and clothing lines. We had seen drawings of the design plan, but it was even more incredible than we had imagined. Throughout the day, we set up our upcycled creations and decorated the entire Southwest building. Our small team used each of our creative ideas to create a truly welcoming and unique space. 

The Big Day:

Finally, after months of planning, the big day was finally here. Our team was experiencing a flurry of emotions – nervousness, overwhelm, and, most importantly, excitement. As the initial festival-goers entered our display, they responded with nothing but positivity and LUV. Throughout the day, many people remarked that they couldn’t believe that the products they were looking at were actually made out of airplane seats. A few festival-goers even tested out their Spanish with Karo and Carolina. 

From early morning until late at night, Karo, our talented Wearsos artist, painted non-stop. Everyone was amazed by her talent, and numerous individuals requested unique, hand-painted items. The final painted products, which included dogs, flowers, volcanoes, and, of course, a lot of “Luck” logos, were incredible and left everyone in awe. 

There were countless inspiring interactions throughout our day at Luck– it would be impossible to capture them all in one single post. One particularly special interaction occurred when a young boy saw the airplane seats on display and remarked that he wanted to try to make his own creation, just like Wearsos bags. Our team loved his enthusiasm, so we gave him two pieces of leather to bring home. His mom later sent us photos of his creations, and she shared that he hasn’t stopped talking about his visit to Wearsos.

The Heart of Luck Reunion:

After the day was done, we stayed at the festival to watch the amazing performance of Willie Nelson. For our team of six, it was our first-ever country music festival experience. Despite being newcomers to the country music scene, we proudly wore Luck Reunion bandanas, with a few of us going the extra mile and wearing cowboy hats and boots. We were lucky to have a view of the main stage, where we caught glimpses of artists like Tyler Childers, The Old Crow Medicine Show, and Kermit the Frog. We all quickly fell in love with the artists, food, scenery, kind people, and the entire atmosphere of the event.

This might have been Carolina's first flight, Karolina’s first time sharing her hand-painted artwork with the USA, and Wearsos' first showcase of our products to a wide audience—but this is just the beginning of our journey. A journey made possible by those who believe in building a better future with our actions; a journey made possible by those who choose to wear the change. Let's continue this journey together, empowering one another to create a world where every choice matters and drives real change

“De Turri pal mundo,” “From Turrialba to the world.”

By: Amber McNeil


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